Wednesday, September 29, 2010

not dead yet

You'd think that updating a blog once a week would be easy. But nooooo. It's easier still to get swamped. As it happens, my excuse was a one-week vacation in Hawaii, which didn't leave me much time to prep a post for this week. So, lame as it is, I defer until next week. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

the spirit of aloha...with titanium

by frédérik sisa

My wife and I were going to the International City Theatre one Sunday afternoon when we happened across a Hawaiian fest and hula & chant competition called E Hula Mau. We didn’t get to see any hula dancing or hear much by way of Polynesian music other than from bands on a stage in front of the Performing Arts Center, but we did enjoy mulling about the arts and crafts. Little did I know that I would be seduced into getting that Rodney Dangerfield of items, the Hawaiian shirt.

Of course, I don’t mean to invoke Rodney Dangerfield disparagingly – far from it, because he was actually a very funny and likeable guy. But, just as he joked about not getting any respect, the Hawaiian shirt is one of those clichés that suffers from everything clichés tend to suffer from. But, as yet another cliché goes, there’s some truth to be found and it is this: a beautiful Hawaiian is just as wonderful as any other kind of shirt, and how (and when) you wear it makes all the difference. The lesson: a wardrobe can only be improved by having a bit of Aloha in it.

You’ve undoubtedly seen by now guys wearing Hawaiian shirts, so I won’t post any pictures of me in my two new acquisitions. But here’s a closeup of the patterns. The darker one, naturally, fits right into my usual aesthetic. The bright red one is a pure flight of fun fancy, chosen expressly because it seems so out of character for me. Every so often, you just got to let go of gravity.

Both of these shirts are essentially vintage/thrift sold by a nice little outfit called 2 B Loved By U 2, a purveyor of “pre-loved recycled items” including jewelry like this whale bone fossil necklace:

The surprise is that for quality vintage, the prices are eminently reasonable. I paid roughly $30-40 for each shirt. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to sell anything online, but if you’re in Southern California and can make it to any of these fun Hawaiian events, it’s worth stopping by their booths to see what they have in stock.

On an unrelated note, I wanted to slip in a few words– I don’t really have enough to make a full post on the subject – about an experiment in jewelry. After concluding that my daily wear of silver in the form of anklets and a toe ring was rather demanding of the metal – the chains were often in need of polishing thanks to repeated exposure to water, skin, and such – I set out to find an alternative. The silver is just too attractive a metal to subject to insensitive daily wear. So what works as “performance bling?” The answer, it turns out, was obvious and right around my neck: titanium. While my necklace is dark matte aircraft grade titanium, the wrong finish for what I was replacing, the company that made that particular chain, Avant Garde, offers a plethora of chain and ring options. So, I opted for this:

And this:

The results? Great! The polished titanium, though it doesn’t have the brightness of silver, nevertheless has a warm quality to its reflection that is very appealing. And it’s really nice not to have to worry about it tarnishing. The only thing is that if either the ring or chains had been full-price, they would have been inaccessible until a future windfall…

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Fashion's Big Night Out

By Aqua Catlin

This Friday September 10th is a world wide fashion extravaganza lead by the fashion industry and hosted by your fashion-buying dollars. "Fashion's Night Out."

S'pose Aussies will have already shopped till they drop by the time the 10th rolls around for us. Wish the big sale had been on while I was there!

If you're in Los Angeles, expect these areas from West to East to have super-duper deals and I think of it as a kin to the Art Walks hosted throughout the city as well:

Abbot Kinney,
Century City,
South Robertson Blvd.,
West Third Street,

Beverly Center
The Grove,
Melrose Ave.,
Los Feliz,
Downtown Los Angeles,

Want more information? LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will walk you through all the reasons to buy (again) for the season here

My friend Rafael Bruno, a talented accessories designer who's a queso grande at Just Cavalli Sunset Plaza, has this to say about their celebratory deals. (Stay away from the sunnies till I've gone through them please folks. Its only fair. Vulchers.)

"LA's Fashion Night Out From 6 - 9 at our Sunset Plaza Location. Enjoy an extra 10% off all sale items, 50% off all Sunglasses, and for any purchase of our new Fall/Winter 11 collection of $500 or above recieve $100 off your total *pre per client"

Great! Who knew I could afford anything with the name "Cavalli".

Would love to hear your thoughts on this. Will you take part in the world-wide movement to shop? A movement created and fed by those who always tell us what to do and buy, and they always will, or will you boycott? Will you shop just because its a big fat sale and glad to as I will with those sunglasses?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

no post this week - sorry

Hello, faithful readers. Frédérik, here, with apologies for the lack of a post this week. I'll be back in the saddle next week. Topic: stay tuned. :)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Australian Fashions

By Aqua Catlin

Just returned from a trip home to see my family and oldest friends in Australia. While I was there I was lucky enough to attend the Myer Spring/Summer Fashion Event with special guests Jerry Hall and Georgia Jagger. I thought Jerry Hall, who sat 2 rows ahead of me, was gorgeous and her femininity shines in person where I think it gets lost a bit in photos.

Myer is the Aussie equivalent of Macy’s but with worse shoe selection and a much, much better hosiery department. I spent 25-30 minutes in there 3 or 4 times buying up the tights from all the cute patterns, colors and quality. I love Australia…n hosiery and wish that here in LA we could compete. Fashion timing there is a bit backwards due to the seasons being flipped opposite from the rest of the fashion world and I’m told its difficult to get stock imported. Doesn’t matter, they have really talented Australian designers and that’s in line with the other popular fashion, “Buy Australian”.

The show, where we mingled easily with Australia’s celebrities, sports stars, media and fashion’s powerful people was great fun and fancy with plenty of straws to drink your champers with and concrete to stand on in your 7inch heels. Ouch - another champagne, no straw, please. The gift bags didn’t hurt as much, though travelling, I had to leave half behind.

Please have a look at the show and designers' work here:

Also had the opportunity to meet with the Harper’s Baazar Editor (Australia), the lovely Edwina McCann in their offices. I ate the candy, then asked for work.

I’m prepping a shoot here and barely have time to sleep, (not very glamorous), so I'm surely leaving out many fabulous details but didn’t want to be forgotten for my blogging negligence.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

design time

by frédérik sisa

Every so often, I’ll notice those billboards advertising Rolex or Bulova, or whatever timepiece James Bond is hawking these days, and wonder what all the fuss is about. They all look like bulky mechanical armguards to me, even if the mechanism is Swiss and the casing is gold, diamond-encrusted, or made from the usual materials of luxury accessories. I suppose I don’t feel like my timepieces should look like gussied-up dials but rather have some sort of artistry to them – or, gasp, design.

That’s why I was excited to discover Projects Watches, which I’ve written about in the past, but have yet to acquire. Maybe I need to pester Santa Clause a bit more this year. But if there’s even more reason for enthusiasm, it comes from the latest releases.

This is Dancing Time by Daniel Liebeskind, an architect whose work I especially admire. With a style that could be labeled postmodern or deconstructivist, if you want to bother with labels at all, his buildings are imbued with kinetic energy and dynamic, surprising shapes. No surprise, then, that he offers a high-concept watch playfully designed around the metaphor of our relationship to time; dancing figures represent the hour and minute hands, and the face is inscribed with latin and greek text by Spinoza and Plato respectively.

Designer Daniel Will-Harris, whose pieces are among the most innovative in the Projects collection, offers a watchface that takes the familiar yin/yang symbol in an inspired new direction. The black dot indicates minutes and the white dot indicates hours. I love how the motion of the yin and yang both reinforces the concept of yin and yang and offers a metaphor for time.

Next is also from Daniel Will-Harris, a design inspired by turbines called Turbino. It’s not my favourite of the three, nor do I think it’s among his strongest designs from a conceptual standpoint, but the aesthetic is nevertheless interesting.

As always, the price range is surprisingly accessible: $125 for Dancing Time, $115 for the Will-Harris designs. Check out the website for more new and existing designs.

One of these days, I’ll get one (but which one?) and be the envy of the kids in my block. Do you hear me, Santa?

Note: Images borrowed from the Projects Watches website.